Super-fit walsh in for long haul
ASH Walsh has rarely had more on his plate to deal with.
Drumming up sponsors, fundraising, preparing to face the best in the land in the V8 Enduros and trying to defend his development series lead.
It's a wonder he has time to scratch himself.
But when the QT spoke to Walsh, he had recently completed a 5km run followed by a weights session.
"You have to," he said of his physical training regime.
"Especially now we're getting close to enduro time.
"I have to ramp it up a bit."
Enduro time is the three endurance races on the V8 Supercar calendar, at Sandown, Bathurst and Gold Coast.
For those he will leave his Matt Stone Racing Development series FG Falcon and hop into his Dick Johnson Racing FG Falcon.
They may be the same make of Ford but Walsh, who drove both cars at a Queensland Raceway test day last week, said they were worlds apart to drive.
The Enduros are looming, where Walsh can prove to the "main game" teams he deserves a full-time gig.
"It's time to think about plans for next year," Walsh said.
That means building up his portfolio of sponsors to make him a more attractive proposition for V8 Supercar teams.
"I want to be in the main game," Walsh said.
"So I'm trying to bring a bit of leverage to the table."
That means working hard to raise funds and attract sponsors.
Walsh has just had his annual Ipswich fundraiser, at Brothers Leagues Club.
"It was a great night," he said.
"I'm happy with how it went.
"We've done it for three years and it's doubled in size every year."
On Friday he will speak at a Rotary Club breakfast in Ipswich before his Dunlop series practice session that day.
It is followed by qualifying on Saturday and races on Saturday and Sunday and Walsh admitted there was still work to be done to get his car right.
"We made some good steps during test day," Walsh said. "QR has been a bit of a weak point for us. I'm still not 100 percent happy with new tyres. On old tyres, I'm really happy with it."
His Dunlop series lead over main rival Paul Dumbrell could hinge on getting it right.
"It can be the difference between coming first and maybe even being out of the top five," Walsh said.
"Now I've got a points lead to hold on to. If I can walk away with the same size lead, it will be a pretty good weekend."
Dunlop Series standings
- Ash Walsh 983
- Paul Dumbrell 936
- Andre Heimgartner 852
- Chris Pither 821
- Cameron Waters 723
(150 points for a race win, 138 for second, 129 for third).